The Searchers

Sire Sessions: The Rockfield Recordings

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The 23 songs here comprise the band's 1979-1980 recordings for Seymour Stein's Sire label, originally spread among two LPs that appeared in different versions in England and America. The original tapes have been remastered using Sony's Super Bit Mapping system, which has resulted in crisp and detailed resolution -- the fact that the CD producers weren't afraid to pump up the volume has helped also, giving these songs more of a punch than the original LPs (at least, in America) ever had. Some of the songs haven't withstood the test of time -- the Pender/McNally/Allen original "This Kind of Love Affair" is a little too repetitive -- while others, like Dave Edmunds bassist John David's beautiful "You Are the New Day," have taken on a life of their own (it was later covered by the King's Singers). "Love's Melody," "Hearts in Her Eyes," "Switchboard Susan," "It's Too Late," "Lost in Your Eyes," and "You Are the New Day" rate among the group's all-time best tracks. Additionally, this is overall the best-sounding of all the group's CDs, far more impressive than any of the Pye/PRT recordings from the early '60s, as well as the most sophisticated music in their history. (Beware of identically packaged sets with sound in only one channel.)

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